A ransomware virus form of malware which encrypts the victim’s data and then, the attacker demand some amount of money as ransom to allow access to that data after that ransom is paid.
When a victim is attacked with ransomware virus attacker provide some instructions for how to pay fees in order to get the decryption key, ransom is paid through a crypto currency like bitcoin etc.
How Ransomware Works?
After knowing what is ransomware virus now, we will get to know how it actually works.
There are number of factors involved by which attacker can take access to a computer, the most common way is using Phishing Scam, using this delivery system victim receives an email with attachment luring the victim to download it, when the victim downloads and opened that file attacker can take over the victim’s computer.
Social Engineering Tools are used to gain administrative access to the victim’s computer, in some severe cases of ransomware attacks attacker exploit security holes to infect computer without involvement of the victim.
What Happens After Ransomware Attacks?
There are several things that could happen after this malware taken over a computer, but the most common and widely used is to encrypt all files on victim’s computer, and these files can’t be decrypted without mathematical key which only attacker have. After that victim is receives a message in which it is explained that it’s files has been made inaccessible and won’t be recovered until an amount of ransom is paid via untraceable Crypto payment.
There is some other variation of malware known as leakware or Doxware, in this type of malware attacker gain access to sensitive personal data and threatens to publicize it unless the ransom is paid, but finding and extracting such data is a tough cookie so attacker don’t go after this type of malware and encryption ransomware is most commonly used and gain much popularity in 2018.
How to Prevent Ransomware?
There are some common practices which can be used to prevent not only these type of security threats but also act as a defence from all type of threats, following these steps will make you less vulnerable as well as your data will be secured and won’t be lost forever.
Following are security measures to prevent such attacks:
- Keeping Your OS updated all the time to make sure it has signatures to latest viruses
- Don’t ever give administrative privileges to suspicious or unknown software’s
- Use such anti-viruses which detects and trace malware on arrival and block unauthorized software from executing
- In the end, always keep backup of your sensitive data frequently and automatically.
These steps wont help in stopping an attack but it helps to make the caused damage less significant.
What if your computer got infected by ransomware? There are some few steps which helps to gain control of your machine.
- Restart your computer to safe mode.
- Install any reliable anti malware software of your choice.
- Scan your machine for infected software.
- Restore your machine to previously created backup
But there is an important thing to know that these steps will help in removing any ransomware infected software but wont give access to encrypted file or data as it can be decrypted without the key which only attacker knows, and also by removing the malware the possibility of recovering those file is also ended which you might have get by paying ransom to the attacker, but it ensures to give back control of your machine to you.
What’s up with Ransomware:
1: Making Huge Business:
Ransomware is generating huge amount of money, in the beginning of this decade its market expanded rapidly. In 2017 only the losses occurred due to ransomware was $5 billion and it included both ransom paid as well as amount of time and money spent recovering from such attacks. Which is 15 times greater than 2015.
2: Why Your Antivirus can’t help you in these Attacks?
The Developers of these malware are clever enough so they update it frequently so that its signature couldn’t caught by ordinary antivirus programs.
The most shocking thing is 75% victim machines were using high end and updated antiviruses on which these attacks were carried out.
3: Some Good News MAYBE!!
The widespread of ransomware is somehow stopped and is not pervasive as its used to be. After breaking the internet this malware falls to its decline though the numbers were high enough and still 60% payloads of malware went down to 5%.
Reasons of Its Decline:
The main reason behind decline of this malware was the method of getting paid through crypto currency Bitcoin the weapon of choice for attackers, as most of the victims falling in hands of attackers can choose to not pay ransom at all and there is another case when victim even wanted to pay but unable to because one do not know method and ways to pay through Bitcoins.
Another reason of decline in these attack is also considered the rise of malware known as Cryptomining, this malware uses the computing power of infected computer to mine Bitcoin and the owner doesn’t have any idea of it that its computer’s resources are being exploited by someone. Its an easy catch for attackers without any risk and makes it most popular after the hike in price of Bitcoin.
Yet the Threat is not over as the prices of Bitcoin fluctuates it’s a choice of attacker to shift back to ransomware, as soon as they attacker sees it fit will use malware accordingly.
It’s a serious threat to someone’s cyber space and we must be vigilant towards our security, make sure to follow generic security practices and keep an eye on your machine in order to keep data and our cyber space secure. Do not fall into hands of these viruses and Get updates on The Security Geeks for latest things happening in Cyber World.